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Media Training NZ Blog

Liam Malone my media spokesperson of the year

14 December 2016
My media spokesperson of the year award has never gone to a sportsperson. That is until now. This year it goes to Paralympian star Liam Malone. Why? He clearly stood out among all sportspeople in 2016 with his ability to generate interest in his sport and give journalists fantastic sound bites and quotes to bring their stories to life. Who could forget this one. “I felt tired. I was just saying to myself 'kick it up a gear mate, your mum...

Who should be National Party leader?

7 December 2016
If there’s one thing the National Party has learnt over the past 10 years, it’s the importance of having a leader that potential voters can relate to. It’s why National has been so dominant and gave them a massive head start in the last two election campaigns. The last thing they want now is to lose that advantage. So who should be the new leader? That means the new leader has to be someone people can relate to, which mean the...

Could Trump's campaign style work in NZ?

30 November 2016
Lots of people ask me if the confrontational campaign style of Donald Trump would work for other politicians and leaders from other sectors. My answer for 99 percent of spokespeople is a resounding ‘no’. Why? There is a huge difference between running for US President and most other situations. That’s purely because this race was between two people. Trump had his share of major supporters, but all he had to do was convince voters he was a better choice than Hillary...

Quake and empathy in media interviews

23 November 2016
If there’s one piece of advice I could give to leaders who are thrust onto the media stage when crises hit, it’s to make their first message a statement of empathy for victims. After the recent earthquake, some used this well while others didn’t have the knowledge or skill to express it. The problem is that reporters will never ask you a question that requires a direct answer that focuses on empathy alone. You will be asked questions like, “What happened”?,...

Quake shows need for crisis communication plan

16 November 2016
Were you prepared to communicate with all possible stakeholders immediately after Monday’s earthquake? If not, your crisis communication plan needs a revamp. When it comes to crisis or emergency planning, most organisations have safety procedures in place, as they should. Safety should always be the number one priority when responding to an emergency. However, communication is also important. Bad communication in a crisis can threaten that safety. It can also impact badly on reputations and bottom lines. Every time there is...

Trump lesson for all media spokespeople

10 November 2016
Clearly many Americans voted for Donald Trump because he offered them hope and a fresh approach. But just as important has been his ability to get his message across. He’s been able to package it in a way that both the news media and voters want to hear it. How? With the changing news media landscape and so many messages being thrust in front of us every day, anyone fronting the media needs to be able to break down their message...

Trump's social media credibility

3 November 2016
The two leading US presidential candidates are using social media in totally different ways and Donald Trump’s strategy is far more credible than Hillary Clinton’s. In a Pew Research study of Facebook posts by the two candidates for the month of May, 78 percent of Trump’s posts linked to traditional news media stories. In contrast, 80 percent of Clinton’s took visitors back to her campaign page where the vast majority of stories were produced in-house. The same trend emerged on Twitter....

Communication lessons from Dreamworld

28 October 2016
The tragedy at Dreamworld this week is obviously devastating for the families, and to a lesser extent, others at the heart of the issue. But one certain thing about it has been the sub-standard communication response. Many lessons can be learnt. This blog post will look at three of them. Speed of response In the age of social media, companies at the centre of crises need to communicate almost immediately. The only way to do this is to have statements ready...

Hillary Clinton's unique media strategy

17 October 2016
I generally encourage my clients to welcome media opportunities, even when reporters want to discuss negative issues. But Hillary Clinton is a great example of when it’s best to stay out of the headlines. Why? She understands something her rival Donald Trump doesn’t. That’s the fact that media will only be able to cover a limited number of issues at a time and people will only remember a few. So with Donald Trump basically hammering another nail into his presidential campaign...

Trump's big mistake

11 October 2016
He clearly performed better in the second debate than the first, but Donald Trump made one big mistake that hasn’t received much attention. I’m referring to his apology for the comments he made about women on the tape that emerged from 2005. He did apologise, but it wasn’t absolute. He said he was sorry for the ‘locker room talk’, but Bill Clinton was much worse because he took it a step further and actually sexually abused women. While that might seem...
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